— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011
Have you ever wondered who was the first cave person to ever consider eating an egg? “Hey Ferd, that funny looking bird just dropped something from his butt—let’s eat it!” Or the first person to try eating what they what they thought was bee poo and it tuned out to taste like honey. Ummmm!
Well I’ve got to think that chocolate—or more correctly call cacao—must have had a similar history. Here is all this stuff growing on a tree, “let’s break it open and eat it.” As it turns out mankind (and womankind) got it right and we are still discovering things about chocolate and the over 300 constituent elements that are so healthful for us.
So now we are learning that you might want to consider brushing your teeth with, guess what? Chocolate—yes, I said chocolate. Who came up with this idea to make brushing your teeth just a little sweeter?
New Orleans based Theodent has launched a toothpaste that uses compounds found in chocolate to strengthen teeth. The toothpaste uses a propriety blend, Rennou, which contains an extract of chocolate plus other minerals that work together to strengthen teeth. Rennou is used as a substitute for fluoride in Theodent’s toothpaste.
“Theodent represents one of the major innovations in dental care in 100 years,” says Arman Sadeghpour, Theodent CEO. “I know that is a bold statement, but there are almost no other effective and non-toxic fluoride alternatives on the market.”
Rennou is the product of a team of New Orleans researchers who found that chocolate compounds caused microscopic unit crystals of the tooth enamel to grow larger, resulting in stronger teeth. According to Sadeghpour, Rennou actually gives teeth a harder surface than fluoride does and it’s completely non-toxic.
Though the compounds included in Rennou are related to stimulants at most this toothpaste might cause a “mild mood elevating effect” and it is “certainly not physiologically addictive” as caffeine is.
The compounds are not sweet either. The compounds in Rennou come from the bitter part of chocolate, but the toothpaste itself is not bitter and has been released in a whitening crystal mint flavor. According to the company the mint flavor is gentler than most brands and meant to encourage longer brushing.
Theodent Classic is available for sale in some Whole Foods Markets in the US as well as in Canada and eventually will be available at other retailers at a suggested retail price of $9.99. In addition, Theodent 300, an extra strength version, will be marketed to select cosmetic dentists and medical professionals.
If you want to make your heart smile as wide as your teeth then also consider Choclatique’s Q-91 or Elephant Chocolate. You see, it’s more than wishful thinking—chocolate can be good for you. Studies show that eating chocolate, primarily dark chocolate, may contribute to improved cardiovascular health. A source of natural flavanol antioxidants, dark chocolate and cocoa sit in the same good-for-you category as green tea and blueberries. That’s because chocolate comes from cacao beans (or cocoa beans), which grow on the cacao tree and are full of natural plant nutrients. Most of the studies to date highlight dark chocolate because it has the highest percentage of cocoa solids, therefore delivering more flavanol antioxidants.
Chocolate and Your Health Hand-In-Hand.
The health benefits of high antioxidant foods have taken the scientific world—and the media—by storm. Recent studies suggest that the plant compounds, which act as antioxidants in foods, may reduce the risk of many kinds of illness, from heart disease to cancer. Antioxidants like those found in dark chocolate and cocoa, called flavanols have also been linked to some of the hallmarks of good cardiovascular health such as enhanced blood flow, healthy cholesterol levels and, in some cases, reduced blood pressure.
Dark chocolate and cocoa contain cell-protecting flavanol antioxidant compounds. Two tablespoons of natural cocoa have more antioxidant capacity than 3 1/2 cups of green tea, 3/4 cup of blueberries and 1 1/3 glasses of red wine. Next time, skip the Joe and go for the cocoa.